This is an amazing piece of musical beauty. Starting with the electronic bagpipes, to L.A. Girlfriend (Sydney Banta)’s captivating vocals, this work has something for everyone. As her bio states:
REGINA is the second EP to a dual EP project that explored the multiple facets that make up our individual characters. As a moment of self-reflection, Sydney Banta used REGINA as the opportunity to examine her own nature. What she found was someone who was incredibly strong, yet deeply hurt, but also a spirit that was determined and open at the same time.
Banta produced and wrote this EP and had further inspiration during the recording process with the help of her engineer, Nathan Whitcomb. Her live guitarist, Ian Lecklitner, stepped in to contribute some of the atmospheric sounds.
The dual EP represents an exploration of the L.A. Girlfriend aesthetic. REX, the first EP release was incredibly raw, under polished, and electronic only – a bit of a homage to where Banta started back in the day. However, REGINA is similar to her last LP, Neon Grey, which was a collection of fully flushed out songs that were still a little rough around the edges, but were blended with both analog and electronic elements. Apart, REX is a more masculine energy, whereas REGINA takes on a feminine vibe, however together, both EPs are a reflection of Banta herself – someone who can rise like a king and rule like a queen.
I love the fact that Banta can reflect the dichotomy of all humans: our female and male aspects of ourselves. This is one of the best explorations of that nature since Patti Smith released Horses (her male) and then Radio Ethiopia (her female), culminating in her great Easter. Banta has just taken her place next to Smith in a beautiful and unusual take on this. I love this EP, and you will too.